Luke 17 v 18 – 19
Was no-one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner? Then he said to him, “Rise and go your faith has made you well.”
One of the ten men did indeed return to Jesus. He came back praising God and as he did so I want you to notice how he crossed all the divides that would have separated him from God. The need for social separation was gone for he was healed. He no longer had to stand at a distance but come and fell at the Lord’s feet.
He was a Samaritan. We are not told whether all the others were Samaritans. Probably they were a mixed group brought together by their disease. Jesus was a Jew and normally with all other Jews the national and religious barriers would have kept them from Jesus.
But now these barriers meant nothing to the man who was healed, because he had received some kind of understanding that he was in the presence of God’s special messenger. Thus he is told “your faith has made you whole” (v 19) He now had not only physical healing, but forgiveness and reconciliation and eternal life. Everything that had formerly alienated him from God were now removed. He was healed.
But Jesus asked a question that should surely be on the heart of all who read this story. “Where are the other nine?” (v 17)
We are not told what happened to them. We can imagine they ran to their priest for verification of their cleansing. They had experienced a miracle. The kingdom of God had come upon them. (chapter 11 v 20),but all they could do was be grateful in a vague way, not understanding that they had met the one who could give them eternal life. They were happy with their blessings and there it ended.
Their healing was not a common gift the creator had bestowed upon them. It had been a sign intended to point them to Christ. Salvation had come within their reach but they could not see it.
Do you think you are like that? Is there anybody else you know who may be like these nine lepers? Grateful for the blessings but not too interested in the One who gives the blessing.